Judy Berman

Jul 06 2012
Feminism as a stance calling for equal rights, equal education, equal pay—no rational, halfway decent human being could possibly disagree with this. But what is called feminism in the academies seems to be a very different phenomenon indeed. I have sometimes characterized these people as a Rabblement of Lemmings, dashing off the cliff and carrying their supposed subject down to destruction with them.

Harold Bloom.

That goes for you too, Internet feminists in the constant throes of cultural outrage!!  

(via natashavc)

Apologies if I’m not so enthused about The Western Canon dude’s mansplanation of what’s wrong with feminism, but there’s some fascinating denial of/apathy towards reality going on here. If all reasonable folks are totally down with “equal rights, equal education, equal pay,” why don’t we have them yet? It must be so wonderful to feel like you’re doing your part for social justice simply by acknowledging certain supposedly obvious truths in which you have zero personal investment and then moving on to more pressing matters in your terribly important literary life!

Also, having read a fair amount of feminist theory over the years, I’m going to call bullshit, because actually there is a lot of diversity in the field, and the disagreements between camps (“sex-positive” vs. “all sex is rape,” for instance, or white/Western vs. multicultural) are huge, fierce and vital, and continue to play out in real women’s lives as well as in the classroom. Are there some excesses? Some preciousness? Sure, but I wouldn’t call your typical English department a bastion of practicality, either.

I mean, this all seems really obvious, but let’s not give an old white man a standing ovation for finding yet another way to argue what he’s been arguing for his entire career — that old/dead white men really are responsible for the best literature, after all, and everyone who dares to question that belongs to the “School of Resentment” and doesn’t deserve a place in academia.

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